When Harry Met Sally (1989) was one of the leading romantic comedies in the 1980s and till date it is regarded as one of the best romance movies of all time. For William Edward Crystal, the movie was not just a hit movie but it defines perhaps the biggest role in his career as he was the lead male actor in the hit film. Not so long after the huge box-office success of the movie, Billy became the host for the Grammy Awards then the Oscars Awards on nine separate occasions. Today, he has been in several films but decided to stick with stage performances.
He lost his father as a teenager but he remained very upbeat and likable as a kid. Billy had a unique talent for making people laugh and when television became a new medium he got his influence from several comedy shows and performers like Alan King and Jonathan Winters among others. By the time he was 16, Crystal already started doing stand-up comedy but his real dream was to become a professional baseball player.
Date of Birth: March 14, 1948
Zodiac Sign: Pisces
He adored Yankees outfielder Mickey Mantle as a young boy and eventually got a baseball scholarship to study at Marshall University. He accepted the offer but never got to play any game as the baseball program was suspended while he was a freshman. Crystal had to leave Marshal and then ended up majoring in theatre; the rest they say is history and the City Slickers (1991) star has a successful career to show for it. Family-wise, William has also been fortunate and we’ll be taking you into details about his personal life as you come along in this article.
Jack Crystal (father)
Year of Birth: 1908
Date of Death: October 16, 1962 (aged 54)
Jack was an executive in Commodore Records and held jazz concerts known as “The Sessions” while Billy was still a child. The younger Crystal became friends with some of the leading musicians at the time and was even babysat by singer Billie Holiday. According to the funny man, his father was also a hilarious man who had a big influence on his sense of humor.
The comic actor was really close to his father until something tragic happened when he was 15 – his father died. Jack was still pretty young when he had a heart attack that claimed his life one night while bowling. After Papa Crystal passed, Billy got to really appreciate all his father was able to accomplish while he was alive.
Helen Greenfield (mother)
Date of Birth: December 15, 1914
Year of Death: November 13, 2001 (aged 86)
Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius
She was basically the homemaker who devoted her time to raising her family. After her husband died, she became solely responsible for the upkeep of herself and her three boys. She had a tremendous sense of humor and was a great singer and tap dancer; Crystal even refers to her as a really big spirit in his life.
In 2001, Helen passed on and though she was in Billy’s life longer than Jack, her loss was just as jarring as that of his father. William explained that one always thinks one is ready for it but in his own case, he now realizes that he wasn’t.
After her initial stroke, he had about three weeks to soak it in that he might lose her and he thought he had accepted it but when she finally died, he was broken. The stage genius says he gets a chance to honor his parents every night at his shows and he puts it on the top of the list of his career accomplishments.
Richard Crystal (elder brother from same parents)
Year of Birth: 1946 or 1947
Richard is now a television producer, a writer and an actor. He was previously married to Fran with whom he has a daughter Jaclyn but is now with Lee Schneller. He wrote a book “Journey of the Heart” about how he underwent open heart surgery.
Joel Crystal (elder brother from same parents)
He is the second brother to the show host and is now an art teacher. She is married and has 2 grown up kids.
Janice Crystal (spouse)
Duration of Marriage: June 4, 1970 till present
Billy majored in theatre from Nassau Community College and while he was there, he met a dancer who turned out to be the love of his life. According to the funny performer, Janice was the first and only girl he dated and eventually fell in love with. They got married after a while and have remained together through the years.
After over four decades, both lovers are still married and have homes in California and New York. The acclaimed comedian revealed in 2016 that he still gushes over his wife and stated that they are just as in love as they were when they first met. He explained that his parents always looked like they loved being together and it is one thing he took from them.
Jennifer Crystal Foley (daughter with Janice Crystal)
Date of Birth: January 26, 1973
Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
Jennifer was born while Janice worked at a local college and Crystal became the Mr Mom who took care of their daughter and even brought her to his performances. Since September 2000, she has been married to her college beau Michael Francis Foley and they are both parents to Ella Ryan Foley (born June 20, 2003) and Dylan Frances Foley (born February 3, 2006).
Lindsay Crystal Miller (daughter with Janice Crystal)
Date of Birth: October 21, 1977
Zodiac Sign: Virgo
She is the youngest child to the Analyse This (1999) actor and is a television producer now. Lindsay is known for her work on My Uncle Berns (2003). She is married to Howie Miller and has 2 kids.